Thinking Better

Marcus Du Sautoy

The Art of the Shortcut in Math and Life

Thinking Better is a celebration of the art of the shortcut – and an encouragement to all of us, in our lives and maybe particularly in our business lives, to realise that thinking better is often more successful than working faster.

How do you remember more and forget less?

How can you earn more and become more creative just by moving house?

And how do you pack a car boot most efficiently?

This is your shortcut to the art of the shortcut.
Mathematics is full of better ways of thinking and, with over 2,000 years of knowledge to draw on, Oxford mathematician Marcus du Sautoy interrogates his passion for shortcuts in this fresh and fascinating guide. After all, shortcuts have enabled so much of human progress, whether in constructing the first cities round the Euphrates 5,000 years ago, using calculus to determine the scale of the universe or today’s algorithms that help find a new life partner.

As well as looking at their most effective uses in history (such as measuring the circumference of the earth in 240 BC to diagrams that illustrate how modern GPS works) Marcus also looks at how you can use shortcuts in investing or how to learn a musical instrument to memory techniques. He talks to, among many, the writer Robert MacFarlane, cellist Naomi Clein and the psychologist Suzie Orbach, asking whether shortcuts are always the best idea and, if so, when they use them.

With engaging puzzles and conundrums throughout to illustrate the shortcut’s ability to find solutions with speed, Thinking Better offers many clever strategies for daily complex problems.